San Antonio Community Update – Jan 2024

Here we are into the new year and La Casita, in San Antonio Palopό, Guatemala is taking this opportunity to reflect on the many achievements, grand events, and new initiatives that have taken place over the past year. Our La Casita Team is looking forward to another year of working towards meeting the needs of all the children, elderly women, parents, and adult learners who come through their doors to read, learn, and improve their skills. 

The Learning Centre 

An average of 100 to 110 boys and girls come to La Casita per day for extra support. According to the public school teachers, the children improved their performance in reading, writing, computing, communication and language, and mathematics. As well, their self-confidence improved.

La Casita hosted a lunch for the local public school teachers so that they would understand the quality of educational support that we are making available.

Parent Consultation

Mothers of the children were invited to get acquainted with La Casita and the value of our programs.  Educational workshops regarding health, prevention of diabetes, and womb cancer were provided, as well as workshops for cutting patterns and sewing techniques. A total of 25 mothers participated.

Scholarship Students

The year started with 12 Scholarship students and the budget was increased to make room for new students. One of the conditions for all new scholarship students is that they attend the English and technology classes on Saturdays and that has proven to be quite successful. They also attended workshops facilitated by Gregorio and Candelaria on developing life skills, and general health and safety, finances and banking.

The first Scholarship Student Alumni Reunion was an amazing success. Twelve of the 26 graduates attended. They were full of stories of how La Casita impacted their lives. One graduate said: “There is nothing I am doing right now that would have been possible without the support of La Casita. I am so grateful.”

Entrepreneurial Skills

Ana Olivia’s sewing class produced a variety of beautifully sewn purses and pouches that were shipped to Victoria and sold at the scarf sales to great acclaim. They were recognized for their achievements at the Christmas Party.


The Ancianas, very poor elderly widows, continue to come twice a week and enjoy the food and social time. Each week they work on different projects like making kites for the Day of the Dead Celebrations and bells for the Christmas Party.

La Casita Continues to Support the Community!

In the spring of 2023 a donation of solar panels was installed by a Canadian Company, Scout Technology Guides. This has significantly reduced the Hydro bill since we are producing more power than we are using!! La Casita is the first in San Antonio Palopό to have this kind of system.

La Casita has supported the new public school by providing educational resources. The remaining funds from our generous donors that were designated for the new public school were used for reconditioning 13 of the old computers, purchasing additional computers, and upgrading the security system.

Even with the expansion project that was completed in 2022, the demand for space at La Casita is always a concern. Lydia and Ana Olivia consulted with the teachers to identify the greatest need because it has become increasingly important to manage the capacity of La Casita. Staff hours have been increased due to the increased number of students coming from the two public schools’ morning and afternoon classes. As we move into 2024, the staff are considering options to address the need for more space.

Public school ends in mid-November and opens again in February. Meanwhile, La Casita offers a Vacation Program with more emphasis on fun, creativity and practical things, while still supporting the school studies. The staff are also focusing on evaluating the current programs and planning for the next year.